All things nautical with the Ramsgate Seadog mini-fest

Chloe Wells with Margo the Mermaid

A mini-festival within a festival is launching in Ramsgate this month.

The Ramsgate Seadog is part of the Ramsgate Festival, and celebrates the town’s past, present and future maritime heritage.

The project started in 2016 with the aim of understanding why the fishing industry is in decline and why we, as a nation, seem to have lost the connection we once had with maritime culture and our heroes of the sea.

This resulted in the creation of the Ramsgate Seadog, a mythical beast that exists to protect our coasts and work with the fishermen. Following an open call on Facebook, a crew of artists, photographers, musicians and writers have come together to present a one day festival of all things nautical.

Amber Butchart by Fanni Williams

The Sailor’s Church will be the main berth for an exciting and stimulating day on July 22 that includes a talk by fashion historian Amber Butchart on nautical fashion, poetry workshops and an exhibition titled ‘Fish Face’; Archive Homestore and Kitchen will be hosting an exhibition of children’s art and there will also be displays at Pier Yard and McGillian & Woodell, in Queen Street.

The mini-fest is being supported by Ramsgate Town Team,  Gadds Ramsgate Brewery, Ramsgate Tunnels, Archive Homestore and Kitchen and Ramsgate’s Handmade Fair.

The event runs at the church from noon until 9pm

Emily Tull: Cooked

Schedule so far: 

Habitat exhibition McGillian & Woodell (21st – 28th July)
‘Fish Face’ exhibition from 12:00, (22nd -28th July)
Sarah Tait poetry workshop, 12:00 – 1.30pm (July 22)
Thanet Writers – Seaside Stories, 12:00 – 4pm (July 22, drop-in)
Amber Butchart Nautical Fashion Talk 2pm-3pm (July 22) ]
Mellissa Fisher Workshop – 2pm-4pm (July 22,drop-in)
Sarah Tait Poetry Reading 4pm (July 22)

Marine tales

Organisers want to speak to as many current and past fishermen as possible. So far they have conducted interviews with fishermen John Nicols and Tom Brown as well as Dr Yoshitaka Ota from Canada’s University of British Columbia – an anthropologist who lived with the fishermen of the Kent coast as part of his extensive research – and Martin Jackson from Commercial Fishermen’s Rights UK.

If you have any information about Ramsgate’s or Thanet’s maritime history or current relationship with the sea or would like to be involved in any way, get in touch.

Get in touch

Facebook: @ramsgateseadog

Twitter: @RamsgateSeadog


Report by Michelle Thomas